Wagner looks for gold in Mexico

The Canadian men’s and women’s National Wheelchair Basketball Teams will compete at the Parapan American Games, Nov. 12-20, in Guadalajara, Mexico. Burlington’s Brandon Wagner is a member of the men’s team.

Wagner is the only local athlete on either team. The 28-year-old Wagner’s club team is the Burlington Vipers. In 2009 he was chosen Student-Athlete of the Year at the University of Illinois.

Both teams are vying for a top three finish at the competition to secure a berth in the 2012 Summer Paralympic Games in London, England.

Team Canada men’s schedule has them opening against Columbia on Sunday, Nov. 13.

The IV Parapan American Games are a continental, multi-sport event that feature more than 1,500 athletes from 26 countries competing in 13 different sports: archery, athletics, boccia, cycling, football (5-a-side), goalball, judo, powerlifting, sitting volleyball, swimming, table tennis, wheelchair tennis and wheelchair basketball.

The Parapan American Games have been increasing in size and competitiveness since the inaugural event in Mexico City in 1999.

Sixteen national wheelchair basketball teams will play in Guadalajara for the right to compete in London 2012. The Canadian men have reached the podium in each of its three appearances at the Parapan American Games since their inception in 1999. The team’s medal count stands at two silver (1999, 2007) and one gold (2003) going into the 2011 edition of the Games. Thanks to their podium performances at the Parapan Ams, the Canadian Men went on to win three consecutive medals at the Paralympic Games, including back-to-back gold medals in 2000 and 2004 and a silver medal in 2008.

Team Canada Women at the Parapan American Games

The Canadian Women’s National Team will also look to extend its winning tradition at the ParapanAmerican Games, having captured two gold medals (1999, 2003) and one silver (2007) in three appearances.

For more information, visit: www.wheelchairbasketball.ca